September auto sales have been released. While many were expecting bad news for the auto sector, the results actually were quite stable. Most auto manufacturers were able to post stronger sales on a year over year basis. The big news came from Ford, which saw over a 20% decline. Toyota, for the second consecutive month, also had sales that were down, though not nearly to the level that Ford had.
The chart included with this story represents automobile sales, and not installations of satellite radios. Different manufactures have deals with respective satellite radio companies for installations, and the penetration rate for satellite radio installations vary from company to company.
September is traditionally the month where a new model year is introduced. With the new model year comes some changes in the partnerships for satellite radio. Nissan, and their luxury brand Infiniti will begin what is anticipated to be an extensive rollout of factory installed XM radios. The port and dealer install program still exists between Nissan and Sirius, but the status of that program's continuance beyond 2007 model year cars has not been announced. For the time being, given that this chart represents current sales and not future sales, Nissan and Infiniti will remain listed as a provider for both Sirius and XM. When more detail becomes available, the data will be updated accordingly. Likely, the remaining 2007 model year cars should be sufficiently "thinned out" by November or December, and we should know more about the Sirius relationship with Nissan at that time. Should the merger happen, the point will be virtually moot anyway.
Another item to note is that the sales and production of cars as it relates to subscriptions differ depending on the manufacturer. Some subscriptions trigger at production, some at time of sale, some after a trial period if the consumer opts to keep the service. The determination of when a subscriber is counted is tied to the respective satellite radio being paid for at least part of a subscription.
(1) Nissan and Infiniti have a factory install deal with XM and a port and dealer install deal with Sirius.
(2) Toyota and Lexus have a factory install deal with XM and a port and dealer install deal with Sirius.
(3) Subaru has a split deal by model with Sirius and XM.
Position - Long Sirius, Long XM, No Position in auto sector